Gold panners operating in Makaha area in Mudzi, Mashonaland East province are said to be avoiding selling their proceeds to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR), opting rather, to smuggle the yellow metal to Mozambique.
Fidelity Printers and Refiners is owned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and buys, refine and exports the gold.
MP for Mudzi South, Jonathan Samkange said that the continuous running battles between the artisanal miners and the police ware to blame for the non-remittance of gold to Fidelity. He said:
The running battles between the people and the police are not good for development, which is why we need to find a lasting solution.
A miner who spoke said that they prefer to sell the gold to Mozambique because police officers are always demanding bribes and also they fetch higher prices in Mozambique. Said the miner:
The police always arrest us if we don’t pay them bribes after selling our gold to Fidelity and avoid them.
We end up crossing into Mozambique where we also fetch better prices than what is offered by Fidelity.
This came out during a meeting in Makaha attended by Samkange, Mashonaland East Resident Minister Apollonia Munzwerengwi and Deputy Mines Minister Polite Kambamura.
The officials were in the area to assess how gold leakages occurred and how they could be curbed.